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Tip: Understanding Rank

PEP-Web Tip of the Day

When you do a search, you can sort the results bibliographically alphabetical or by “rank”. What is Rank?

Rank refers to the search engine’s “best guess” as to the relevance of the result to the search you specified. The exact method of ranking used varies a bit depending on the search. In its most basic level, when you specify a single search term, rank looks at the density of the matches for the word in the document, and how close to the beginning of the document they appear as a measure of importance to the paper’s topic. The documents with the most matches and where the term is deemed to have the most importance, have the highest “relevance” and are ranked first (presented first).

When you specify more than one term to appear anywhere in the article, the method is similar, but the search engine looks at how many of those terms appear, and how close together they appear, how close to the beginning of the document, and can even take into account the relative rarity of the search terms and their density in the retrieved file, where infrequent terms count more heavily than common terms.

To see a simple example of this, search for the words (not the phrase, so no quotes):

unconscious communications

Look at the density of matches in each document on the first page of the hits. Then go to the last page of matched documents, and observe the density of matches within the documents.

A more complex search illustrates this nicely with a single page and only 15 matches:

counter*tr* w/25 “liv* out” w/25 enact*

There are a lot of word forms and variants of the words (due to the * wildcards) above that can match, but the proximity (w/25) clause limits the potential for matching. What’s interesting here though is how easily you can see the match density decrease as you view down the short list.

The end result of selecting order by rank is that the search engine’s best “guess” as to which articles are more relevant appear higher on the list than less relevant articles.

For the complete list of tips, see PEP-Web Tips on the PEP-Web support page.

List of Articles

Volume 22 (2005)

Issue 1
The Psychoanalysis of Public Opinion: The Public as Jury  3
Leo Rangell, M.D.
From Voyeur to Witness: Recapturing Symbolic Function After Massive Psychic Trauma  21
Ghislaine Boulanger, Ph.D.
“Superblind” Supervising a Blind Therapist With a Blind Analysand in a Community Mental Health Setting  32
Mark B. Borg, Jr., Ph.D.
The Challenge of the Strong Adaptive Approach  49
Robert Langs, M.D.
Metatheoretical Shifts and Extraclinical Data: Comment on  69
Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D.
Discussion of “the Challenge of the Strong Adaptive Approach” Comment on  73
William B. Goodheart, M.D.
Hallmarks of the Adaptive Approach: Reply to and  78
Robert Langs, M.D.
The Self is Alive and Well and Living in Relational Psychoanalysis  86
Bruce Reis, Ph.D.
Brief Report
Prereflective Organizing Principles and the Systematicity of Experience in Kant's Critical Philosophy  96
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.
Clinical Note
The Contextuality of Emotional Experience  101
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.
Film Reviews
Freud and Gibson: “A Child Is Being Beaten” and The Passion of the Christ  107
Thomas Hoffman, M.D.
Mulholland Dr.  113
Iuliana Corina Vaida and Victor Harrison Wildman
Splitting and Reductive Identification: Comment on  120
Michael Pariser, PsyD
Reply to Pariser  131
Donna Orange, PsyD
The use of Psychoanalytic Constructs in the Service of Empire: Comment on  135
Jess Ghannam, Ph.D.
The Need for a Global Talking Cure for Practitioners: Reply to  139
Elaine Baruch, Ph.D.
Reply to Shill  141
Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D.
Issue 2
A Critique of Relational Psychoanalysis  155
Jon Mills, Ph.D., PsyD
Consilient Psychoanalysis  189
Keith Valone, Ph.D., PsyD
Creating Space: The Fourfold Dynamics of Potential Space  207
Ryan LaMothe, Ph.D.
“Selfobject” Needs in Kohut's Self Psychology: Links With Attachment, Self-Cohesion, Affect Regulation, and Adjustment  224
Erez Banai, Ph.D., Mario Mikulincer, Ph.D. and Phillip R. Shaver, Ph.D.
Rules were Made to be Broken: Reflections on Psychoanalytic Education and Clinical Process  261
Eric Mendelsohn, Ph.D.
Some Controversies Regarding the Teaching of Psychoanalysis: Comment on  279
Irwin Hirsch, Ph.D.
Professional Burnout in the Mirror: A Qualitative Study From a Lacanian Perspective  285
Stijn Vanheule, Ph.D. and Paul Verhaeghe, Ph.D.
What Works in Psychotherapy and How do We Know? What Evidence-Based Practice Has to Offer  306
Doris K. Silverman, Ph.D.
Issue 3
Reconnecting Psychoanalysis to Mainstream Psychology: Challenges and Opportunities  323
Robert F. Bornstein, Ph.D.
The Self and Analytic Technique  341
Frank Summers, Ph.D.
Using Bion  357
Kenneth Eisold, Ph.D.
The Ego Revisited  370
Richard Lettieri, Ph.D.
Which way in Psychoanalysis? The Problem of Suggestion in the Postmodern World  382
Ronald C. Naso, Ph.D.
Recognizing Defenses in the Drawings and Play of Children in Therapy  395
Daniel Benveniste, Ph.D.
Notes on Lifelong Resilience: Perceptual and Personality Factors Implicit in the Creation of a Particular Adaptive Style  411
Barbara K. Eisold, Ph.D.
Mentalized Affectivity  426
Elliot L. Jurist, Ph.D.
Dismissing the Past: Not Unique to Gen-X: Comment on  445
Jeffrey H. Golland, Ph.D.
The Historicity of Psychoanalysis and Global Culture: Reply to  447
Carlo Strenger, Ph.D.
The Doom and Gloom of Divorce Research: Comment on  450
Robert M. Gordon, Ph.D.
The Reality of Divorce: Reply to  452
Judith S. Wallerstein, Ph.D. and Julia M. Lewis, Ph.D.
Issue 4
Learning in an Increasingly Multitheoretical Psychoanalytic Culture: Impact on the Development of Analytic Identity  459
Joanna Lhulier, PsyD
Contemporary American Psychoanalysis: A Profession? Increasing the Role of Research in Psychoanalysis  473
Joseph Schachter, M.D., Ph.D.
Actual Neurosis and PTSD: The Impact of the Other  493
Paul Verhaeghe, Ph.D. and Stijn Vanheule, Ph.D.
Construct Validation of the Rorschach Reality—Fantasy Scale in Alexithymia  508
Shira Tibon, Ph.D., Yifat Weinberger, M.A., Jonathan E. Handelzalts, M.A. and Piero Porcelli, Ph.D.
The Centrality of the System In the Theory of Psychoanalysis: The Nonrepressed Unconscious  524
Ahmed Fayek, Ph.D.
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